After veteran quarterback Peyton Manning was benched to recover from a partially torn plantar fascia ligament in his left foot, Osweiler was called upon to start for the Broncos. In Manning’s absence, Osweiler made the first two starts of his career and led Denver to two consecutive wins, including a 30–24 victory over the Patriots that snapped New England’s 10-game winning streak.
In this week’s issue, SI’s Austin Murphy discusses 25-year-old Osweiler’s emergence from understudy to the leader of a first-place team.
Also in this issue is a profile on Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James and a feature on Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in the wake of his retirement announcement.
James is featured on the national cover, while the Osweiler cover will be delivered to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.